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Print Shipping Labels from Outlook!

Capable of producing over 40 label styles and sizes, the LabelWriter 400 is the small, fast and functional label printer for everyday use. The DYMO label software integrates easily with most of your favorite software applications - to print labels for almost anything you can imagine: envelopes and packages, files, binders, videos, name badges, CDs, Internet postage and even more. It even comes with add ins that let you prints directly from Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, Outlook, QuickBooks, ACT! and others with a click of a button. Prints labels up to 2-1/2" wide (56 mm) in less than two seconds, up to 40 labels per minute.

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5 things to look for in a student's budget printer

Your students should always be prepared for their classes. But are they prepared for their homework as well? Some students tend to get things done at the last minute. OK, a lot of students. And while some schools provide access to printers, they're just not convenient enough. Your child is going to need a good personal printer to avoid hassles and get assignments in on time.

You can get a great student printer for under $150 these days. And if you know what to look for, you don't have to sacrifice good quality. Here are five important aspects to focus on:

1. Color or black & white. This is not as simple a decision as it seems. Consider the types of homework assignments you'll be doing. Will you need to include a lot of artwork, charts or other graphics? Or will you typically work on essays and reports requiring only text? Your decision will also affect the cost and effort involved with ink cartridges later on. For example, if black & white is all you need, you'll generally have less trouble and expense. Nevertheless, choose what best suits the schoolwork.

2. Resolution. A printer's resolution is typically given as dpi (dots per inch). Many budget printers are capable of 600 dpi, which happens to be excellent for professional-looking text documents in all types of fonts. But you'll need better if you're printing photos or photo-realistic graphics. Fortunately, the capacity for higher resolution is usually included with color printers. Look for 1200 dpi or higher.

In general, a color printer's resolution must be higher than the graphics it prints. A typical printer uses only a few different ink colors to reproduce digital images, which can involve millions of different colors. So the printer might use several dots to blend its basic inks for the equivalent of only one pixel of a digital photo. The quality you get on paper is rarely what a printer's resolution suggests.

Resolution really gets confusing, especially with printers. The best way to evaluate a printer is with a sample. If you can, save a digital photo to disc and have it printed at the store on models that you're considering. You might want to call ahead to be sure which stores will allow you to do so.

3. Ink cartridge costs. Manufacturers make their profits on the ink cartridges rather than the actual printers. So that's where you'll see the true cost of ownership for your new printer. First, find out how much replacement cartridges cost. Prices of $40 or $50 are certainly not unheard of.

Second, find out how long each cartridge lasts. This measurement is sometimes given as "pages per cartridge." Just keep in mind that the number usually assumes black & white, text-only pages. Graphics can sometimes cut that number in half. You should be able to get information online, from salespeople, and even from packaging.

4. Printing speed. This is actually not something you should focus on. But it's a big part of the marketing, so you're bound to come across it. Printing speed is typically measured as "pages per minute" (ppm). A particularly speedy printer can produce about 15 ppm. Of course, this measure also usually assumes black & white, text-only pages. And the speed should always take a backseat to cost and quality. If a minute or two makes or breaks you, you've got bigger problems than printing speed.

5. Printer size. The size of the printer itself can be an issue. There's only so much room on a desk. And if the printer is going into a dorm room, you'll want the smallest printer you can get without sacrificing quality. This is another factor that's best evaluated in at the store.

There are dozens of brands competing in the printer market. Big names you'll see are HP (Hewlett-Packard), Canon, Lexmark, Epson, and possibly Samsung. HP printers in particular can be had cheap, sometimes for under $100 with the right features.

--Available 8/13/05 at http://www.komando.com/tips_show.asp?showID=9084

 

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